A Brief History Of Jewelry
Dating back to the Stone Age, one of the oldest forms of currency has been gold, gems, and jewelry. Stones were assigned value based on color and size while precious metals were given value based on color and rarity. These are the same types of factors which play into how we buy and sell jewelry today.
Most jewelry stores sell gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. These are known as the precious metals. Other precious metals are ruthenium, rhodium, osmium, and iridium.However, not all metals that are traded today are considered to be "precious metals." Titanium, stainless steel, copper, brass, nickle and tungsten are other common metals that jewelry may be made of.
Diamonds are one of the most sought after stones on the market today. They are measured on a grading scale that was developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This grading scale takes into consideration the cut of the stone, the clarity of it, the total carat weight, and the color of the diamond. So, if the diamond is very clear, virtually colorless, and quite large then it can be very valuable. The cut of the stone plays more into what people are searching for at the moment. For example, right now a Princess cut (also known as a square) diamond is popular which slightly adds to the value of the stone. Mathematics help to guarantee that each stone manipulates light, or gives off "fire," to its best ability. Cut is also one of the most overlooked aspects of diamond purchasing as it truly refers to the overall dimensions, angles of the facets of the stone which determine the stone's ability to release its fire.
Gemstones come in a rainbow of colors and refer to all ornamental stones. They are typically broken up into two main categories: precious and semi-precious stones. These names are truly misleading because semi-precious stones are actually more valuable than precious stones because they are softer and more rare. Included in the Gemstone Umbrella are minerals, crystals, rocks, jewels, and general stones.
Pearls generally come from oysters, though some other molluscs do produce pearls. The oysters can be cultured in farms or they can be caught in the wild. Oysters typically produce 3-5 pearls in their lives while freshwater mussels can produce up to 60 over a lifetime. Clams give us Mother of Pearl. Over a number of years, pearls put on layer known as nacre. The more nacre a pearl has, the more valuable it is. When harvested, only 1 in every 30-40th mollusc checked will have a pearl inside. Pearls can range from pure white to pink and even to black. The orient (or luster) of the pearl also adds to the value, more so than even the color.